The passage of two crucial bills, the Real Estate Regulation Bill and Land Acquisition Bill, in particular, sometime in the next few quarters this year, will boost the sentiment of all stakeholders and herald a new order in the country’s real estate sector, says Pranab Datta, chairman of Knight Frank India. The recent approval of FDI in multi-brand retail by the Parliament will attract foreign investments, which will not only benefit the retail industry but also boost the demand for commercial real estate. It also showcases the government’s seriousness in introducing reforms in India – and this is just a preview of things to come, Datta says. Additionally, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) can be expected to lower interest rates in the coming months, which will benefit developers as well as consumers. The change in sentiment on account of these measures will have a positive impact on all the segments of real estate – whether it is retail, office or residential – and will certainly make 2013 a much better year in comparison to last year. Against this, 2012 was disappointing for the real estate sector as rising construction costs dampened the market sentiment.
Read more: The Times of India (Bangalore edition)
Delhi NCR houses maximum newly launched projects
Projects launched in Delhi NCR in the year 2012 were highest in number as compared to Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Healthy demand from all segments of property buyers has made the region an activity centre. According to a recently published report by Jones Lang LaSalle, Delhi NCR holds 44 per cent of the total market share of newly launched housing projects, followed by Mumbai (21%), Bangalore (11%) and Chennai (10%).
New upcoming projects are adding to the price rise in the region. According to Rakesh Goyal, managing director, RG Properties, “The residential market of Delhi NCR is currently showing optimistic trends and is witnessing healthy demand and supply across the NCR areas. Areas such as Gurgaon, Noida, Greater Noida and Faridabad noted an average increase of 8-12 per cent in property values in past four months.”
Read more: Magicbricks
The Future Of Farmhouses In Delhi
Farmhouses were originally conceived in the 1961 Delhi Master Plan as part of the agricultural green belt surrounding the city. Over a period of time, the prime area for farmhouses which found favor with the elite is the area extending from Chhatarpur all the way to Aya Nagar.
Also, farmhouses have come up in other areas around the city limits, but the area adjoining the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road extending eastwards towards the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary, has been the most popular. Some of the more organized and better developed farm colonies, with wide, well-landscaped access roads, fall within this zone. The Zonal Development Plan notified in January 2008 however spells the end of the farmhouse story, as this entire area has now been earmarked for more intensive residential development.
It has been notified that the overall gross density in this area be increased to 100 people per acre – approximately 20 to 25 dwelling units per acre. This constitutes a substantial increase, from the current low density of the farmland zone. This area also happens to adjoin the Delhi-Gurgaon Metro corridor along which, a 500m-wide strip has been notified in October 2012 as an area of intensive mixed use development.
Delhi’s first master plan was notified in November 1961. In addition to defining a basic structure and land-use pattern for the metropolitan area it suggested that the outer limit of urban development be defined by a ‘green belt’ within which farms could be developed. For farm units of 1 acre, a single-storey house with a maximum built-up area of 500 sq ft could be built, going up to 1,500 sq ft for farm units of 3 acres or more.
In the early years, a number of farmhouses came up flanking the outskirts of the city based on these restrictions. Most of these were units devoted to growing vegetables and flowers, largely for personal use, and not really developed as second homes. Around 1985, the DDA increased the minimum size of farm holdings by notification to 1 hectare (around 2.4 acres) with a maximum built-up area of 150 sq metres (single storey).
Read more: The Times of India
Gurgaon Rapid MetroRail to begin in April
Phase-I of the Rapid MetroRail Gurgaon Limited (RMGL), a network of 5.1 km connecting Cyber City, National Highway-8 and Sikanderpur Metro station, is expected to become operational in April despite slowdown of work due to extreme cold, said RMGL managing director Sanjiv Rai. “Due to extreme cold conditions prevailing over the past few weeks, the de-stressing and welding of metro tracks have been delayed for a couple of weeks and work on a one-kilometre stretch is still pending. We also faced labour problems due to cold condition. But we still expect to wrap up work by mid-February and make the Phase-I operational in April as planned,” said Rai, interacting with media persons on the occasion of opening of a two-day health camp, “Nirogya”, for the migrant labourers at the site.
From: The Hindu
Bring back foreign currency: RFC accounts for returning NRIs
RFC accounts (Resident Foreign Currency) are bank accounts that can be maintained by resident Indians in foreign currency. These accounts are especially useful for Non Resident Indians ( NRI) who return to India and would like to bring back foreign currency from their overseas bank accounts. In this article, let’s take a look at the features of RFC accounts for returning NRIs.
Note: The RFC account discussed in this article is particularly for returning NRIs. There is also an RFC (Domestic) account that can be opened by resident Indians. The features of the RFC (Domestic) account are slightly different and are not discussed in this article.
Who can open?
You can open an RFC account if you return to India permanently after residing abroad for a continuous period of one year or more. In order to calculate this continuous period, any short trips to India for personal visits would be ignored. Any authorized dealer or bank will help you open your account.
Read more: The Economic Times
Samsung, Apple seen pulling ahead in smartphone race
Overall shipments of handsets are expected to have risen in the fourth quarter, with most of that growth dominated by Samsung. Analysts forecast the South Korean company shipped 61 million smart devices, up 71 per cent from a year earlier.
Samsung forecast earlier this month that it expected to earn a quarterly profit of $8.3 billion on strong sales of its Galaxy handsets as well as solid demand for flat screens used in mobile devices. Samsung’s full results are due by Jan 25.
Read more: The Economic Times